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Sanchez, Vidal to lead Chile in qualifiers

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Juan Antonio Pizzi

Juan Antonio Pizzi

Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi named a familiar squad on Tuesday for the reigning South American champions’ upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Chile, who beat Argentina on penalties in the Copa America final two months ago to successfully defend their title, currently hold the fourth and final automatic South American qualification spot for the World Cup in Russia.

Former Spain international Pizzi named an initial squad of 18 players on Tuesday, that included the likes of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who is reportedly on the brink of a move from Barcelona to Manchester City.

Five players from the Chilean league will join the squad to bring its numbers up to the usual 23.

Paraguay play host to Chile on September 1, before Bolivia visit Santiago on September 6.

Initial squad

Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Barcelona/ESP)

Defenders: Mauricio Isla (Cagliari/ITA), Gary Medel (Inter Milan/ITA), Enzo Roco (Cruz Azul/MEX), Eugenio Mena (Sao Paulo/BRA)

Midfielders: Marcelo Diaz (Celta Vigo/ESP), Francisco Silva (Cruz Azul/MEX), Felipe Gutierrez (Real Betis/ESP), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/GER), Erick Pulgar (Bologna/ITA), Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Matias Fernandez (Fiorentina/ITA), Rodrigo Millar (Monarcas Morelia/MEX)

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal/ENG), Fabian Orellana (Celta Vigo/ESP), Mauricio Pinilla (Atalanta/ITA), Edson Puch (Necaxa/MEX), Eduardo Vargas (Hoffenheim/GER)


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